Thermal Imaging-Through Engineer’s Eyes

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Thermal imaging is like unlocking a secret code and reading the heat loss in your home. Where is your money seeping out of your walls and attic? This is a question that needs to be asked more regularly to prevent small problems from growing larger. Engineers and contractors can inspect a home and immediately locate disparities between hot and frigid air by a visual inspection. Here are some obvious signs that a homeowner can use to gauge their home’s performance and heat loss in the chilly winter month

Symptoms such as high electric bills, ice dams, mold, nail pops, roof degradation, drafts, moisture intrusion, and loud “booms” in the attic are all clues that an underlying problem may exist. Frequently, the issue is due to heat loss in the attic. If heat is allowed to flow freely from your home’s conditioned living space, into the unconditioned living space, such as the attic, your house is NOT optimally performing. Heat loss is not only costly, but if left “unleashed”, it is potentially causing serious damage to the structural components of your attic.

 

ice dam nail pop-complete building solutionsmoisture intrusion in attic of home-complete building solutions

One way that Complete Building Solutions helps clients discover heat loss is by use of infrared thermography, otherwise known as Thermal Imaging. We take images of your home and discover where temperature disparities are located, such as insulation anomalies, air leakage, and heat loss are occurring. Some of the common locations are windows, doors, outer-wall electrical outlets, vents, etc.

Example of Client’s Thermal Image – Blue show heat loss at the top plate of the exterior wall.

thermography

We have worked with many homeowners, townhome and condo associations who were having incredibly high energy bills and ice dams. After our investigations, we provided our clients with a detailed report of issues and provided a scope of remedy and managed the project through completion. Our clients saw a significant energy bills decrease. Read the client testimonial here!

If you have questions regarding your home’s performance, please give us a call at 612-868-2922.

 

 

What walls can I remove in my home?

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The most common remodel questions we get at Complete Building Solutions are regarding the removal of a wall for expansions and making open floor plans. Commonly these inquiries would include walls between the kitchen and the living room to create a great room concept. Homes built in the 1930’s-1970’s typically had 11’x19’ kitchens leaving the cook of the house feeling boxed in and isolated from the rest of the family. In this modern era, we find homeowners looking for a more open floor plan that allows the whole family to interact. Because of this, our phones ring off the hook with questions from realtors, homeowners, and home flippers regarding how to proceed with a wall removal.  Typically, this is our recommendation.

Before you hire a contractor or decide to remove a wall yourself, you must determine if the wall is load bearing. Load bearing walls support or transfer the load of a structure from one area to another. Removing a wall such as this without replacing it with a new form of support can be detrimental to integrity of the home. Often times a new beam & column system will be required to replace the wall. If this is the case, you will need to hire an engineer to design the system and be sure that the new column transfers the load properly. Depending on where the column sits on the floor, blocking may be necessary. See the diagram below.

 

Load Bearing Wall Engineer Sketch Sample

With this said, it is smart to move forward cautiously while removing a non-load bearing wall as well. There are several factors to consider before the wall demolition begins. What heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, electrical, thermostat or other unknown challenges may be present? These are all questions you can ask Complete Building Solutions.

It is also very important that you check with your city before moving forward with the wall removal and installation of a new support system. Frequently, a permit will be required to proceed with this work. Our engineers can provide you the specifications in obtaining a proper permit. We can help you determine if the wall is in fact load bearing and design a replacement beam and column sealed with an engineer’s stamp for city approval.

If you are still having questions about your specific remodel, please feel free to give us a call.